In memory of Phil

ROUND three of Far North Coast Rugby Union is headed by a beach battle dedicated to the late Phil Murray.

Coastal clubs Ballina and Lennox Head will come together in honour of the local sporting identity and former Northern Star journalist – an event which officials hope can become perpetual.

The two undefeated sides will meet at Williams Reserve, Lennox Head, with fans urged to turn up and support a local legend.

Lennox president Barry Kiddle is hoping the rugby, sporting and local community will get behind the venture.

“This is our way of allowing the community to farewell Phil,” Kiddle said.

“He was a great supporter of our club and community and the least we can do is acknowledge that.”

The Trojans, fresh off a bye week, welcome representative forward Matt Liddle back to the fray while winger Tony Buchanan has also been drafted back into the side.

Ballina coach Mick McGregor has been hit by a late spate of injuries on the eve of the match.

South African hooker Jacques Lotter has dashed back to his homeland at the last minute and his would-be replacement Craig Davey has been struck down by a calf injury.

McGregor could hardly believe his luck.

“We have a few blokes who are a bit doubtful all of a sudden,” McGregor said.

“But there are plenty of blokes ready to step into a jersey.”

McGregor’s unbeaten Seahorses don’t need much motivating, but the Phil Murray aspect certainly gives them a bit extra to play for.

“The boys have spoken about Phil,” he said.

“Lots of our boys are from Lennox or have played for Lennox so there will be plenty of feeling in the match.”

“Between these clubs there always is.”

The match begins at 3:10pm.

All proceeds taken on the day will be split between Lennox Head and Ballina surf clubs.

In other Far North Coast rugby matches at the weekend, Wollongbar-Alstonville host the winless Southern Cross Uni at Lyle Park, while Lismore will try and defend their unbeaten record against Casino at Rugby Park.

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